Nico Rosberg clenches his fists and punches the air after winning in 2015. Heath says Yas Marina Circuit’s fantastic firework display provided a suitably stunning backdrop.
Fernando Alonso drives under the Yas Hotel in 2010. Everyone who follows Formula One is aware of the impressive architectural delight of the Yas Hotel Abu Dhabi. Spanning the twisting and turning street track-like section of the Circuit, the building provides a visual treat for the photographers present.
Lewis Hamilton in 2017. I’ve always enjoyed photographing F1 cars at very slow shutter speeds, Heath says. It’s a tricky technique to master but when one gets the smooth motion of the camera and lens perfectly matched to the velocity of the car in frame the results - especially under Yas Marina Circuit’s floodlights - can be wonderful.
For about five minutes at the very start of the second session of the day a few of Yas Marina Circuit’s corners are lit with the orange glow from the setting sun. Positioning myself at one of these corners during practice for the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix I hoped to capture a special photo. As Nico Rosberg rounded the turn, highlights glinting off the Silver Arrow’s bodywork, I knew I had a winning shot!
Of course so much of photographing the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is about the sunset/night time nature of the event but the cars do spend two practice sessions running in daylight conditions. This can make for interesting pictures especially when the cars pass underneath the Hotel, just like the one you see here of Jenson Button in his world title winning Brawn car during the 2009 race weekend.
The 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will always be remembered as the race where Ferrari's Fernando Alonso missed the chance to become world champion. Here you see the dejected Alonso walking into the garage as Sebastian Vettel, the new world champion arrives to claim the prize.
No other race track on the planet can match the architectural splendour of Yas Marina Circuit; the venue’s impressive Grandstands framed as they so often are by a stunning orangey to red to purple to black desert sunset sky.
The twinkling lights of the hotel can work very well with the colourway of different cars. During the 2016 grand prix the blue, red and yellow of the lights complemented Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull.
Everyone loves a fly past! It’s now a tradition that with 15 minutes until lights out an Etihad Airbus 380 is escorted by the Al Fursan aerobatic display team. A suitably stunning purple-hued sky provided a visually arresting scene for the 2017 show.
In 2015 the UAE celebrated its 44th National Day, so Lewis Hamilton sported a special helmet displaying both his official race number and the host nation’s anniversary.
Taking a gamble, I climbed to the very top tier of the pit lane Grandstand and hoped to get something a little different of Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull team celebrating the German driver’s title victory. As luck would have it the Circuit authorities switched off the pit lane lights at just the right time resulting in way more dramatic lighting than there would have otherwise been.
Looking for all the world like a scene from a David Lean blockbuster movie, silhouettes of Bedouin tents stand in front of a perfect bright yellow setting sun providing a stunning backdrop to the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton as he races towards this wonderful vista during the 2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
I’ve always been a fan of race circuit venues that use the areas that surround the track in a creative manner. Here you see Kimi Raikkonen slicing his way through the designs during the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend.
Fernando Alonso’s orange, black and white McLaren looks stunning bathed in the light of an Abu Dhabi sunset during qualifying in 2017.
Kimi Raikkonen heads underneath the Yas Abu Dhabi during the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This is a tricky shot to shoot as the photographer - due to the surrounding fences - is unable to pan the camera with the motion of the car. Capturing the setting sun and a perfect starburst highlight off the Ferrari only adds to my happiness with the picture you see here.
Standing atop his Red Bull car Sebastian Vettel salutes the crowd after winning the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2009. It set him up perfectly for the drivers' championship a year later.
Positioning myself on a balcony overlooking the circuit, the shadows created by the lattice work of the hotel provided a wonderful palette on which to photograph passing cars during practice for the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Daniel Riccardo’s Red Bull car races past the complementary colours of the foreground lights. Choosing a vantage point I’d not photographed from previously, I waited for qualifying to begin for the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Noticing the lights in the foreground I practiced some very slow shutter speed pan shots and liked the streaks . Repeating the same shot as the cars passed, I’m glad I ventured to somewhere new!
For one of the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice sessions I secured access to a balcony I’d not previously shot from. The resulting capture you see here is one of my favourites of the year.
Turning on my heels and running away from the throng of photographers snapping the new drivers’ world champion may seem like a foolhardy choice. Prior to Nico Rosberg being hoisted high by his mechanics I decided to get the shot you see here. The feeling of elation I get when a shot comes together in the viewfinder makes all the effort worthwhile. Shot ‘in-the-can’ I turned away and punched the air every bit as hard as the celebrating Mercedes driver!